A lack of a deal shouldn’t stop its subscribers from accessing services on the TTC, Rogers argues

Rogers made the comments in a submission to ISED

Rogers says an ongoing debate surrounding cell service availability on the TTC’s underground subway line shouldn’t come at the expense of its customers.

The company is currently working on upgrading infrastructure to allow for wireless access after it bought the rights in April. The purchase, and Rogers upgrade plans, have been disputed by Bell and Telus as part of an ongoing back-and-forth.

This led Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) Canada to intervene, launching a consultation outlining possible conditions of access. In it’s filing to the consultation, Rogers says it “strongly opposes” a possible measure ISED laid out that would prevent its customers from getting access first.

Other networks hoping to bring their services to the TTC will only be able to test and deploy their equipment four weeks after Rogers, the company noted. Rogers has already started testing its network.

“Depriving customers of service in this manner would prioritize the interests of certain carriers over consumers,” the company says in its submission. “It would also reward tactical self-serving manoeuvring by Bell and Telus who did not show any interest in providing wireless services in the TTC until Rogers stepped up to make the investments needed to modernize and expand the TTC wireless network.”

Another option ISED outlines out was leaving when companies would access the network for “commercial negotiations.” In its reply, Rogers asked the government to follow this measure. Alternatively, it said the last proposed measure could be followed, which would allow other carriers to access the network “as soon as technically feasible” as negotiations continue.

In separate filings, Bell and Telus have asked the government to ensure Rogers waits to rollout the upgrades so all riders can gain access at the same time.

“Allowing Rogers to gain a head start in deploying wireless services would create an imbalanced landscape and diminish the incentive for it to negotiate and establish agreements with other licensees,” Telus states in its filing.

In its filing, Bell argues Rogers has done little to move foward with negotiations. “The only instances in which Rogers has madeany minimal efforts to advance any commerical negotiations has been under the immediate threat of regualtory intervention.”

The carriers have until August 28th to submit responses.

Source: ISED